Wellness Policy


Committee Members:


The following committee members are involved in the development of this Policy and its implementation throughout the school year.


q Parent: April Prince

q Student: Allison Siegel

q School food service:

q The school board: Debra Klein

q School administrators: Sharon Miller & Elanit Weizman

q Physical education: Diego Amoroso

q Health education: Diego Amoroso

q Health professional: Joshua Steiner

Physical Activity and Nutrition


Setting Nutrition Education Goals


Nutrition.  Academic performance and quality of life issues are affected by the choice and availability of good foods in our schools. Healthy foods support student physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability and ability to learn.

(a)   Nutrition guidelines that require the use of products that are high in fiber, low in added fats, sugar and sodium, and served in appropriate portion sizes consistent with USDA standards shall be established for all foods offered by the school’s Nutrition Services Department or contracted vendors. Menu and product selection shall utilize student, parent, staff and community advisory groups whenever possible.

(b)  Nutrition services policies and guidelines for reimbursable meals shall not be less restrictive than federal and state regulations require.


Health Education and Life Skills.  Healthy living skills shall be taught as part of the regular instructional program and provides the opportunity for all students to understand and practice concepts and skills related to health promotion and disease prevention.


(a)  The school shall provide for an interdisciplinary, sequential skill-based health education program based upon state standards and benchmarks.

(b)  Students shall have access to valid and useful health information and health promotion products and services.

(c)  Students shall have the opportunity to practice behaviors that enhance health and/or reduce health risks during the school day and as part of before or after school programs.

(d)  Students shall be taught communication, goal setting and decision making skills that enhance personal, family and community health.


Nutrition Education:

(a)  School: My Plate nutrition education resources will be used in the cafeteria and classroom.

(b)  Students: Nutrition education is offered in the classroom as well as in the dining room.  Students are required to participate in Physical Education courses offered by credentialed teachers.

(c)  Staff: School staff will attend in-services and/or nutrition trainings.

(d)  Parent: The school will support parents’ effort to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school will send home nutrition information & will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks. Such support will also include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through the website, newsletter, take-home materials or physical education homework.


Setting Physical Activity Goals


A. Elementary K-5 grade

  1. Participation in physical activity on a regular basis.  Students shall participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on a daily basis for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Twice a week the students will receive formal physical education courses taught by a state-certified instructor.  The student to teacher ratio is comparable to other curricular areas, and State developed standards are used.
  2. Participation in several physical activity programs throughout the school year for all students in kindergarten through grade five. Programs Activities include:
  • Jump Rope For Heart
  • Field Day
  • Fitness Gram
  • School Sports Program
  • Red Ribbon / Drug Free activity



B. Middle School 6-8th grade will participate and complete 80% of the activities provided below before the end of the school year.

1.  Such instruction shall be provided for grades 6-8 through daily formal physical education courses, taught by a state-certified instructor.  The student to teacher ratio is comparable to other curricular areas, and State developed standards are used.  Such instruction may also be provided through integration into other courses, regularly scheduled intramural activities, and/or regularly scheduled school-wide activities.

  1. Participation in several physical activity programs throughout the school year for all students in grade six through grade eight. Program activities include:
  • Jump Rope For Heart
  • Field Day
  • Fitness Gram
  • School Sports Program
  • Red Ribbon / Drug Free activity


Establishing Nutrition Standards for All Foods Available on School Campus

during the School Day


Nutrition services policies and guidelines for reimbursable meals shall not be less restrictive than federal and state regulations require.


School Meals: Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program will:

  1. Be appealing and attractive to children.
  2. Be served in clean and pleasant setting.
  3. Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations.
  4. Offer a variety of milk including different fat contents.
  5. Comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  6. Be baked, not fried.
  7. Include fresh fruits.
  8. Include whole grain products.


Vending Machines

1.         All snack vending machines shall add a healthier option.

2.         Vending machines where student meals are served or eaten shall include      a healthier option, such as 100% fruit juice and water.

3.         All beverage vending machines in secondary school public areas and all faculty/staff areas at school and school sites shall include non-carbonated drinks with less than 150 calories per container and no more than 1/3rd of the choices shall be carbonated drinks


Other Foods Items served or sold on campus

1.          Nutrient-rich food items will be available for sale at all places where food and beverages are sold on school campus.

2.         High energy drinks with elevated levels of caffeine will not be available for sale on school campus.

3.         Healthy foods at school events and non-food items for fundraisers will be encouraged.

4.         The use of food and physical activity as punishment is prohibited.

5.         Foods outside of the National School Meals Program made available on campus will meet Nutrition Standards.



Setting Goals for Other School-Based Activities

Designed to Promote Student Wellness


The School promotes increased participation in school based nutrition programs by making the participation and the return of the application a high priority.  The school will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.  The school will:

(a)    Promote the availability of meals to all students;

(b)  Establish meal times consistent with Federal Regulations;

(c)   Prohibit the withholding of food as punishment;

(d)  Be in compliance with drug, alcohol and tobacco free policies;

(e)   Provide an accessible and productive work environment free from physical dangers or emotional threat that is as safe as possible and consistent with applicable occupation and health laws, policies and rules; and

(f)   Encourage employees to engage in daily physical activity during the workday as part of work breaks and/or lunch periods, before or after work hours.


Teachers will not use identifiable brand names in their instruction unless they are found to be necessary to the lesson being taught and any commercial advertising on the school campus will comply with the developed Nutrition Standards.  School personnel serve as nutrition educators and role models for healthy lifestyles.  School staff is encouraged to model healthy eating by offering healthier choices at school meetings and events.  School staff will:

(a)   Encourage students to interact with family members on assignments & projects; and

(b)  Create an environment where students, parents/guardian and staff members are accepted, respected and valued for their personal integrity.


For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students will be provided with different opportunities for physical activity.  Toward this end, the school will:

(a)     Discourage sedentary activities, such as watching television; playing computer games, etc;

(b)    Provide opportunities for physical activity to be incorporated into other subject lessons;

(c)     Encourage classroom teachers to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate;

(d)    Promote school-based health & wellness activities for students; and,

(e)     Provide information about wellness resources and services to assist in identifying and supporting the health, safety and well being of students and staff.


Setting Goals for Measurement and Evaluation


The Principal, or the principal’s designee; the Physical Education Teacher, will monitor compliance with the established wellness policy.  School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within the school food service area and will report on this matter to the principal’s designee. In accordance with the NSLP, SMI reviews will be conducted and will report all findings and resulting changes to the school.


The principal or designee will ensure compliance with the policy, report on the school’s compliance and recommend revisions if necessary, to the School’s Governing Board on an annual basis at a scheduled governing board meeting. The governing board meeting is a public meeting as required by ch. 119 of the Florida Statutes, relating to public records.  Notice is provided to the public prior to the meeting, giving the public an opportunity to offer input.


How well the policy is being managed and its effectiveness will be assessed on an annual basis.  The evaluation process will address the changes to nutrition education, physical activity, and the changes to the nutritional quality of foods available to students, that have occurred as a result of the wellness policy.


The evaluation process will answer questions relating to whether the goals stated in the policy have been met.  Feedback will include changes to nutrition education, the nutritional quality of foods available to students, physical activity, and other aspects covered by the policy that occurred in the school as a result of the wellness policy.  Basic questions that are important to policymakers, students, school staff, parents, and the general public will be addressed in the evaluation process. For example:

  • Did the number of students participating in nutrition education change?
  • Did the students have a different number of minutes of physical activity?
  • Did the school change available food options?
  • Did participation in the Lunch Program change?
  • Did the school promote good eating habits and healthy food options?
  • Did any staff members attend in-service or nutrition training?
  • Did the school provide students with opportunities to participate in a variety of physical activities?

Assessments will be repeated annually to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.


This School Wellness Policy adopted by the Board of the The National Ben Gamla Charter School Foundation, Inc. at the regularly scheduled meeting on this, the ___ day of _____ in the year ______.